Complete university teaching course on mobile graphics

30 June 2015

Imagination Technologies announces, as part of its Imagination University Programme (IUP), the first complete teaching course on mobile graphics.

“An Introduction to Mobile Graphics” includes a rich set of teaching materials and practical exercises that leverage Imagination’s popular PowerVR graphics processors (GPUs).

In universities, graphics technologies are generally taught as part of game development or computer science curriculum, and are based on standard console or PC graphics. Since consumers increasingly interact with graphics on their mobile devices via games and user interfaces (UIs), it’s important that developers understand the specific constraints of mobile devices where power-efficient rendering is a must.

Says Robert Owen, manager, Worldwide University Programme, Imagination, their programme brings leading-edge technologies into the classroom in packages that are genuinely useful to teachers, and exciting for their students. This ground-breaking course enables teachers to align with the reality of users today, who often experience graphics through portable devices incorporating an Imagination PowerVR GPU.

The new course has been developed so that little to no previous knowledge of graphics is required, and the content is adaptable to fit most teaching methods and structures. A dozen different modules cover mobile graphics technologies and their architectures, the PowerVR framework for mobile graphics development, mobile graphics software development kits (SDKs), texturing, transformations and example shader code including lighting models. In addition, the course includes lecture slides with integrated presenter notes, practical exercises including model solutions, and example exam questions and answers. Practical exercises use the PowerVR SDK on a simulator or available boards/tablets. Examples of mobile games and technology demonstrations give students an intuitive idea of the capabilities of the mobile GPU. This introductory course is based around OpenGL ES 2.0, the most widely deployed and adopted mobile graphics API.

The materials for “An Introduction to Mobile Graphics” were developed by Darren McKie, undergraduate/MSc games and graphics programme leader and selector fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Department of Computer Science, at the University of Hull. These materials have gone through extensive critique through academic reviewers including Associate Professor Martin Kraus, in the Department of Architecture, Design, and Media Technology at Aalborg University, Denmark; and Dipl. Inform. Jan Robert Menzel, at RWTH Aachen, Germany. 

Says McKie: “There will be an estimated two billion mobile device users worldwide by the end of 2015, and around half of those people will be using their mobile devices to play games. This means there is an amazing opportunity for mobile games developers, and this new course will help students learn how to make the most of that opportunity. They will learn how to write the most efficient shading code, enabling them to create games that can do a lot more things, or enabling users to play games for longer periods of time owing to the game using less power.”

Imagination’s PowerVR graphics processors (GPUs) are the de facto standard for mobile and embedded graphics and GPU compute. The PowerVR GPU family leads the market in technological capability, roadmap breadth and ecosystem, and is used in many of the industry’s most popular smartphones, tablets and other consumer devices. PowerVR graphics IP comprises a comprehensive portfolio of the industry’s leading GPUs, supporting a broad range of applications.

Accessing the introduction to Mobile Graphics course

“An Introduction to Mobile Graphics” course materials are now available for download from the Imagination University Programme website. Interested students and teachers should visit http://community.imgtec.com/university to register for the IUP and request the materials.

Students can take advantage of the wide array of platforms which leverage PowerVR GPUs to complement the teaching course. This includes popular phones and tablets, as well as low-cost development platforms such as BeagleBoard and Imagination’s Creator CI20 microcomputer. The PowerVR SDK also enables users to run apps and games on a PC without requiring target hardware.

Intro to Mobile Graphics workshops

Imagination is rolling out “An Introduction to Mobile Graphics” to universities worldwide through a series of workshops that will enable professors to get started. The first workshops will be held at Imagination’s global headquarters in the UK on September 23-24, 2015. For more information, visit http://community.imgtec.com/university to register for the IUP.


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